Enter The Oracle! A new western band has entered the Wuhan arena. With it’s international musicians hailing from all corners of Wuhan, The Oracle has sparked an immediate connection with expats and Chinese alike.
I was given the chance to hear it’s story.
The band wasn’t formed overnight, of course. The guys used to meet and study each-other before so they had a chance to see each other in action. This enabled them to grasp the vision of the future project, before then putting their thoughts into action.
Fatih: “I met Max the earliest in 2015 summer in VOX and we tried to form a band with several Chinese musicians back then. We are both metal heads and we had a lot in common with our perspective of music. Once we hit the studio and started jamming I could feel the immediate connection, the groove. Then we had been in several music projects together, yet none of them got where we wanted them to be.
Around late 2016, I’ve had a chance to play with Joseph and Ryan together, in that time I’d seen Joseph several times and had a little chitchat but we weren’t that close and Ryan was just a master on his keys on stage and I didn’t know him at all. Both Joseph and Ryan were very open-minded about music in general which I appreciate a lot and they were willing to try new things.
When all four of us came together the atmosphere was what I’d been looking for for a long time. None of us was musically pressured and was allowed to add their piece of feeling and everyone else respected that and followed it. The needed space for everyone to Express themselves was there.
Adding the friendly attitude from everyone we all knew that we can go further together. In The Oracle we make the decisions together, everybody expresses their opinions on a matter and then we discusses and finally get a result and with the mutual respect things go smoothly. Another great thing about it is the motivation aspect. No one feels the same every day, it’s life and it has ups and downs. In The Oracle, there is always someone there to get your mood up or punch you in the face to wake the fuck you up. And so we move on! ”
Max: “For me, it all started with conversations with Mr. Hernandez aka Joseph from “Travellers” when he suggested trying to jam and see if something can work out. This happened when my wrists and fingers were already starting to get rusty and my sense of rhythm was fading away from not practicing drums for ages. Eventually, we got together, Joseph, me, my old friend Fatih (ex.TMD) on guitar and a keyboard rock star Ryan. Long story short, the more I rehearsed with the guys the more I got the feeling that this is going somewhere and at one point I thought to myself, if I put more time and effort in it and if everyone else will do the same we can come up with some pretty cool stuff in the end”.
Joseph：“I met Ryan in a Hanjie gig. I was late and none of us practiced anything at all. Despite that, we started performing and I felt an immediate connection. Not only coming from a talented musician such he is, but it was something else.
Years later, I met Fatih in some gigs with some chitchat about his hard rock and metal’s preference, but not too close conversation. But it was until a day that we were talking more about his passion and ideas and then we performed and I felt the same strong connection and realized the kind of person he is and that something would come up.
Fatih and Max know each other from previous bands, and I met him in some live performances and at his birthday. In my mind he was a metal head pretty boy, however, when I shared and get to know him closer, I realized his talent and attitude to music and to live, and that we have many things in common.
Our first gig… damn was crowded in a Mall, so it was “now or never” and we did it. The audience liked our approach and performance. So we say each other. “So guys this is the time!” Since then, we’ve been invited to Zhejiang TV show, Music festivals among other gigs. So The Oracle was born, out on the street and ready to fight with Eyes of the tiger.”
The band performed their first show at Toucan Irish Pub, at the beginning, the audience wasn’t big but eventually, it turned into a big and hot event, besides The Oracle themselves other bands such as Hybrid, Frankenstein and the Guitar Factory and Groove Gassy came to support and sing some songs together.
All the members of the band have a different background, for example, Ryan started his musical way from the church that his father managed.
Ryan:“I started my musical career in the church because my father is the person in charge of music in our church. I started playing guitar when I was 12 years old. So for me, music is a hobby. Before China, I participated in the big shows, live music everywhere and street performances as well with my band.”
Joseph: “Back in the Dominican Republic, I was 7 years old when I saw in my mother’s wardrobe a peculiar and old case. It was the classic Spanish guitar my grandpa gave to my mom as a present when she was young. It was locked but as I managed to play my fingers on the strings it just sparks my passion for music. As a teenager I felt in love for drums, playing with some friends and on my church worship team”.
Max and Fatih got their inspiration from the music that their families and friends shared with them.
Max: “When we hung out at my friend`s place the main attraction always was his father`s CD and tape cassettes collection, this is where my music taste was originated. Often when I stopped by my friend’s place to ask him out to play ball I saw his dad napping on the couch while his stereo was turned on max. volume playing Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Marylin Manson etc. At that age, all this influenced me a lot, so when all other boys were going crazy trying to copy Eminem and Bomfunk MC, we would shout “Du hast” back at them”.
Fatih: “My journey with music truly started when I was in 7th grade and go, my brothers, mp3 player full of English songs that I’d never heard before. It was a good mix of rock, techno, and metal songs. From that time, started listening bands like Linkin Park andMetallica.”
Also, it is interesting to see how Wuhan community of musicians influenced guys’ views on music, for example, Fatih and Max used to be metal fans but after seeing local musicians and bands perform in Wuhan bars (Coastline, Jenn Lounge, VOX Livehouse, Wu Bar etc.) they grew up in their perception of music and started recognizing other styles as well.
Max: “About 4 years ago, when I came to Wuhan I was a metalhead to the bone, I considered pop, folk, rap, r&b, electro and all others soft, slow, light, simple and not technically sophisticated music as wimpy sissy stuff for girls. But life in Wuhan changed everything. For past few years, I’ve seen, heard and tried a whole new variety of music styles, sometimes which I’ve never even heard of. Surprisingly for myself, I greet all the new musical experiences with an open mind and that made my whole perception and attitude to music, as a listener as well as a performer, change.”
Fatih: “When I came to Coastline for the first time, man, my head was blown away. I mean these guys were so freaking amazing I was just looking with my jaw dropped to the floor in awe. I was a metal head but this funk, blues, jazz was so good”.
As we can see the guys started from different paths but eventually ended up together here in Wuhan creating an interesting original project that might change the view of the Wuhan music.
Being professional musicians, they have their on view on music as well.
Ryan: “Explications of the concept of music usually begin with the idea that music is organized sound. So that is my opinion and this is our strength, we are really organized. Music is art, art means you do things that others don’t. We know that there are many bands besides us, but we do our style and we change the songs from the original structure. We combine the vocal with the instrumental in producing the beauty of the form.Music is language too.We are from different countries, I think this is good because we learn from each other and bring it to the stage.”
Joseph: “First we need to refer to what is ART, which briefly is the act of expressing your feelings, thoughts, and observations, … through a mastered medium. As poetry, painting, sculpture, literature, dance, theater, etc., Music is a form of art. In The Oracle – “The art of the muses” captivates us, it is our main language but we also aim to combine many forms of Art. That’s why we want to use instruments, vocals, cinema, dance show, even magic among other secrets, not only for entertaining but also to communicate and spread out the untold message inside our souls, a message of Revolution”.
Despite being a cover band, for now, guys have a clear perspective on the future of The Oracle, so we can expect some their own stuff as well.
Ryan: “The Oracle is a band that has a vision not only to play and to does business. Oracle is very open not only to the music but all arts. Oracle has a vision not only to be a cover band, now we are doing our own album, and you can see the trailer video related to music. So we have a vision, now we have an idea to put magic with music, or dance show with music, just like Michael Jackson did. So for Oracle, we do cover and we change it by our own idea. That’s why we make this band, coz we have the same vision in our head”.